Violent Poem Used in 7th Grade Kennewick Class - NBC Right Now/KNDO/KNDU Tri-Cities, Yakima, WA |

Violent Poem Used in 7th Grade Kennewick Class

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KENNEWICK, WA. - Some Kennewick parents are upset after a middle school teacher asked students to read a poem about someone shooting and killing another person for some pricey shoes.

The poem described a student cutting class to kill a person to steal a pair of expensive Air Jordan shoes.

Crystal Diaz is an aunt of a student who read the poem in class. She was shocked to see her niece, a 7th grader, bring home the violent poem.

"I just don't approve of that poem at all," Diaz said.

The poem describes killing someone for their shoes to look good and not get teased by friends.

    "Maybe I'll get lucky and find easy prey 
    gots to get some new gear there's no other way 
    I'm ready and willin I'm packin my gun"

The voice of the poem describes wanting the expensive Air Jordan shoes, then shooting a victim to get them and the violent and gory scene.

    "I fired (POW) he feel between two parked cars 
    He was coughin/cryin/blood dripped on the street 
    and I snatched them Air Jordans off a his feet"

Read entire poem here.

"I just don't understand. I don't understand how that would be a positive poem for anyone to have in their schools at all," Diaz said.

Park Middle School tells NBC Right Now the purpose of poetry used in class is to "develop poetic devices and deepen thinking." District policy is that any material containing graphic violence must be reviewed by the principal. This poem was not. 

Park Middle School principal Kevin Pierce says he agreed the poem was inappropriate.     

"In looking at it, I didn't feel like it really fit with the age level. I understood what the teacher's point was in trying to do it. It certainly wasn't trying to promote violence in any way. But it just wasn't appropriate for 12 and 13-year-olds," Pierce said.

The poem was removed from the curriculum after it was reviewed. But Diaz worries about how the message impacted the young students.  

"It's giving kids ideas. No matter if it was a positive outcome from five students, what about that one student that it wasn't a good outcome form him," Diaz said.

The principal says the school hasn't determined if the removal of the poem will be explained to students and plans to use this as a learning experience for teachers.
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